CBI Arrests Close Aide Of Chhota Shakeel In DHFL Fraud Case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday arrested Ajay Ramesh Nawandar, an alleged aide of gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s close associate Chhota Shakeel, in connection with an alleged bank fraud of Rs 34,615 crore by Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL).

During the investigation, his role was unearthed. He was in possession of costly articles and artcrafts belonging to DHFL’s then chairman-cum-managing director Kapil Wadhawan and promoter director Dheeraj Wadhawan which were acquired from the funds diverted from DHFL.
When CBI conducted a search at his premises on July 8, they had recovered two paintings worth of Rs 35 crore and ultra-luxury watches belonging to the Wadhwan brothers and other items worth of crores were recovered from his house, said a senior CBI official.

“He was questioned on July 8 over the recoveries and today he was formally arrested. Several artworks purchased from diverted funds were recovered from his house. The matter is under investigation. We will find out if there are more links in the ‘investment’,” said a senior CBI official.

On July 8, CBI searched the premises of Rebecca Dewan and Ajay Ramesh Nawandar in Mumbai and Dewan Villa, Mahabaleshwar which led to the recovery of a large number of paintings and sculptures, some cash & other incriminating documents. The value of artworks recovered during the search was estimated to be around Rs 40 crore, as per initial estimates.

During the investigation, it was found that the promoters had allegedly diverted the funds and made investments in various entities. It was also alleged that the promoters had acquired expensive paintings and sculptures worth about Rs 55 crore (approximately) using the diverted funds.

A case was registered on a complaint from Union Bank of India, Industrial Finance Branch, Mumbai against a private (borrower) company based in Mumbai, its then CMD, then Director and others including a private person, private companies, unknown public servant(s) and private persons on the allegations that the accused cheated a consortium of 17 banks led by Union Bank of India to the tune of over Rs 34,615 crore (approximately) by siphoning off loans availed from the banks and falsifying the books of said private (borrower) company and creating Shell Companies/false entities, which had come to be known as “Bandra Book Entities”.

It was alleged that the said private company and its promoters had created a number of shell companies and fictitious entities (Bandra Book entities) and siphoned off huge funds by disbursing funds to such fictitious entities.

It was further alleged that separate audits conducted by other private audit accounting organisations had identified multiple instances of diversion of funds by the accused for personal benefits and falsification of books of accounts to camouflage and conceal dubious transactions.

The audits also identified several instances where large value loans were provided to such fictitious entities without due diligence and without securities. Instances of sanction and disbursement of loans, merely by e-mail communications were allegedly found for which no loan files were maintained in the said private (borrower) company. (ANI)

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